Southwark Park is located in Rotherhithe, in central South East London, and is managed by the London Borough of Southwark. It first opened in 1869 by the Metropolitan Board of Works as one of its first parks. It was designed by Alexander McKenzie and covers 63 acres (250,000 m2).
It received £2.5 million from the National Lottery's Heritage Lottery Fund in 1998 which enabled large parts of the park to be refurbished.
The Old English Cottage Garden was designed by Col. J.J. Sexby, Parks Superintendent for the London County Council. The idea for the rose garden came from Dr Alfred Salter, Member of Parliament for West Bermondsey. It was opened in 1936 and was named after Ada Salter when she died in 1943.
Other facilities include a cafe, a wildlife garden, a boating lake and an art gallery.
Sports facilities include an athletics track run by Fusion, a bowling green, football pitches and tennis courts.
There is a Friends of Southwark Park group and a Young Friends of Southwark Park group to enable the community to get involved in the management of their park. The Friends of Southwark Park is a non-party-political community organisation, recognised by the London Borough of Southwark. Its primary role is to liaise with, and encourage the Council to look after the parks in the interests of the people who use them.
Trees in Southwark Park
As with many spaces within London, the Plane tree (Platanus x hispanica) is dominant within Southwark park particularly the northern most section around the bandstand, which runs next to Jamaica Road.
However, the park is also rich in trees less common in London. Opposite the entrance to the art gallery is a Walnut tree (Juglans regia) and a series of three or four Silver Maples (Acer saccharinum). There is as also a Red Oak (Quercus rubra) close to these maples. Next to the duck pond and the garden area there are three Swamp Cypresses (Taxodium distichum), although without the distinctive wooden 'knees' which sometimes surround trees of this variety.
There are three London Overground stations (formerly on the London Underground network's East London Line) and two London Underground stations (One sharing with the London Overground) located near the edges of Southwark Park. In clockwise order starting from the west, they are:
- Bermondsey (Jubilee Line)
- Rotherhithe (London Overground)
- Canada Water (London Overground and Jubilee Line)
- Surrey Quays (London Overground)
Local buses 47, 188, 381, C10 and P12 buses serve the park at the Jamaica Road entrance. At night the park is served by N47 and N381 buses, while the 188 bus runs a 24 hour service.
- Southwark Park
- Website of The Friends of Southwark Park
- Cafe Gallery web site
- Southwark Park athletics stadium